Monday, November 13, 2006

IP Tire Burn Not Going Well

International Paper's controversial test burn of tire chips for energy at its Ticonderoga plant is running into problems and reportedly making Vermonters downwind sick. The Montpelier Times Argus reported on Saturday that IP had to scale back its test tire burn at a mill on Lake Champlain's west shore when, burning tires at one-third the allowed rate, it was bumping up against the limit for particular matter, a key pollutant.

Across the border in Vermont, numerous reports of foul smells and severe illness are being reported to local doctors and health agencies. According to local citizen groups, Vermonters report experiencing widespread adverse health affects ranging from severe respiratory affects, reactive airway inflamation, burning & blood shot eyes, burning nasal passages and throat, strange taste in mouth, metallic/rubber tasting, naseau, extreme fatigue and malaise, and cognitive defecits. Dr. Jack Mayer, a local pediatrician reported three cases of acute respiratory conditions transported north to Fletcher Allen Medical Center.

Vermonters, including state legislators, are calling on Governor Jim Douglas to invoke his authority under state statute to make International Paper stop the test burn in order to protect public health.

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